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Author Topic: Queenless hive  (Read 476 times)

Offline 220

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Queenless hive
« on: March 11, 2017, 04:17:31 am »
Requeened a hive 5 weeks ago because it was hotter than I would like. Introduced the new queen and checked to see they had released her a few days later. All looked good and I have left them alone waiting for the new genetics to take over.
Noticed over the last week it appeared less active with fewer bees coming and going than my other hives.
Inspected today and no brood, no larvae, bees that are left have been bringing in pollen and nectar and backfilling the brood comb so stores are good.
It is certainly to late to give them a frame of eggs and let them raise a queen, doubt I could find a queen this late in the season and probably to late in the season to requeen successfully anyway.

The question really is how to best utilise the hive, it is a deep with 1 ideal box on it.
I currently have 2x 5 frame deep nucs I put second boxes on today, another nuc that is 3x five deeps that has 10 solid frames of bees and are slowly drawing the 3rd box. 1 hive that is a deep and ideal with the ideal 75% full and another that is 2 full deeps that I put a set of flow frame on a couple of weeks ago that the bees haven't yet taken to.

Thinking the best use may be to replace the foundation frames I gave the 2 nucs today with the deep frames, it should mean they will have more than enough stores for winter. Pull the flow frames and put the ideal box on the double deep and maybe get a harvest of it.

Any other suggestions?
What will be the best way of combining them with the nucs? Newspaper between the boxes and just put them on?




Offline Lancej

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Re: Queenless hive
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2017, 08:15:53 am »
Queens should still be available, did my last split at the end of March last year.

Offline 220

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Re: Queenless hive
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2017, 04:49:59 pm »
Thanks for the reply Lance, bees are at 750m we are seeing night temps down to 4c (40F) regularly, day temps are still making it to high 20's c (80f) but our first frost could come at anytime. Would probably take close to the end of the month before I could get a queen here and into the hive.

Offline Lancej

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Re: Queenless hive
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2017, 07:22:22 pm »
We're at about the same height, but I move the bees when it gets colder or the flow finishes, redpaths in vic may have queens still, just a bit pricey

Offline 220

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Re: Queenless hive
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2017, 07:59:50 pm »
Local bee club meeting today that I cant get to but have asked a friend to see if anyone has any queens for sale, I might get lucky.

Offline SlickMick

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Re: Queenless hive
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2017, 08:56:46 pm »
Last year in the middle of March I had the same problem caused by a late swarm while I was away and a queen being lost, probably on her mating flights. At the time I had only one hive so I had no way of making a new queen other than to hope that any eggs available would be used to raise another queen. This didn't happen so I assume that there can't have been any eggs available. No sign of queen cells. A lost colony if I was unable to find a new queen which I was unable to do.

To cut a long story short, I found a commercial beek who had a 4 frame nuc that he would sell. I bought the nuc, combined it with what was left of the original colony and when spring arrived I split the now combined colony to ensure that the same thing wouldn't happen again.

If you can't find a queen you might find a nuc.

Mick

Offline 220

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Re: Queenless hive
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2017, 09:11:42 pm »
Slickmick, that is sort of the lines I was thinking along if I don't find a queen.
Split the deep frames between the 2 nucs I started the beginning of last month, both are going well but some drawn frames with stores and a few extra bees would certainly give them a boost along. Transfer them into 8 deeps come spring and do a couple of splits at the same time.

Offline SlickMick

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Re: Queenless hive
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2017, 10:14:31 pm »
220, you have the nucs available to you so why not do a newspaper combine with one of them and a split in spring and there you have the colony numbers back again. I don't know if you get an autumn flow but whatever you might pick up should help over winter.

Hope it goes well for you

Mick


Offline Andersonhoney

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Re: Queenless hive
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2017, 03:11:31 am »
I agree with  slick mick. Plus put a queen excluder as well as the newspaper just in case.

Offline 220

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Re: Queenless hive
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 08:34:11 pm »
Has been blowing a gale for the past week so didn't do anything with this hive until yesterday.
Ended up pulling 4 foundation frames from each of my 2x5 nucs I gave extra boxes to last weekend and giving them 4 frames each.
Had a really good inspection of the frames to see if I could understand what had happened. Found 2 hatched queen cells so they had attempted to make a new queen. I left them queenless for 12hrs before introducing the new queen in her cage. I don't know if these were started before I introduced the new queen or not. I know the new queen was out of her cage 3 days after introduction but didn't look for her at the time.
Still any number of possibilities, they may have killed the introduced queen or she may have absconded for some reason even possible she may have been laying and then something happened.
Regardless no evidence of an active queen either the introduced or emergency.